Bluestone Mortgages has revealed that 85% of mortgage brokers believe the specialist lending market will grow over the next 12 months, with 34% saying it will “grow significantly”.
When asked by approximately how much over the next six months, 52% said lending will grow by at least £1 billion. Of these, 37% think it would increase by £1-5 billion and 20% stated over £5 billion.
33% of respondents felt the biggest opportunity for the specialist lending market is the growing number of self-employed workers looking to purchase a home. The number of self-employed workers increased from 3.3 million in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2017, with this demographic now making up nearly 16% of the UK workforce.
In comparison, 26% of brokers cited increased competition and pricing as the biggest opportunity, followed by an equal split between increased product choice (21%) and consumer confidence (21%).
These results are the first wave of Bluestone’s new ‘Specialist Tracker’ research series. Bluestone’s research was designed to gain a better insight into how mortgage brokers perceive this section of the mortgage market.
Mortgage brokers across the UK were surveyed on their thoughts and concerns towards specialist lending and any opportunities and threats to the future of the market. Respondents were further asked about the types of specialist customers they typically serve, what the most popular products are and why brokers may refer clients to a specialist lender.
The research series has been launched to highlight the growing importance of the specialist lending market in serving a growing number of customers who do not fit the traditional lending criteria of high-street lenders, and the opportunities available here for brokers.
Steve Seal (pictured), director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, said: “There is very little research out there looking at the specialist lending market as an entity of its own, and almost none from a specialist lender itself. We are therefore very excited to launch our new research series to show the capability and potential of the market. This is clearly a fact well-recognised by these brokers across the UK – regardless of wider economic and political uncertainty.
“A growing number of borrowers do not fit traditional lending criteria and the opportunities here for brokers and specialist lenders are unique. Customer lifestyles and habits are changing, and the market needs to adapt with this. With the number of self-employed workers rising, it is vital that this is met with a market fully prepared to cater for this growing pool of borrowers.”